Luciana Berger: Being in the Liberal Democrats is so refreshing and so positive

When I saw Luciana Berger at Conference  in September, she looked happy and relaxed as she toured the stalls in the exhibition. She said then that she felt very welcome in the Liberal Democrats.

Many of us hoped for a long time that she would come across to us.

In an interview with the Independent, she contrasted her new life in the Lib Dems with the appalling, horrible abuse she suffered in when she was in the Labour Party:

Being in the Liberal Democrats is so refreshing and so positive. I can have disagreements with people and we do so in an adult way where people don’t shout and scream at you and hurl abuse in your direction.

Her last meeting in the Labour Party was very different:

I attended my last Labour Party meeting in October last year and vowed never to go back because it was so unpleasant – it was so toxic, there was no humanity in the room.

The attitude was very much that she should be more loyal:

She says the abuse was regularly dismissed by Labour members in her Liverpool Wavertree constituency, who responded to her recollections by sitting stony-faced and suggesting that she should be more supportive of Jeremy Corbyn.

The instances of anti semitic abuse from the far right, far left and Brexiteers made her physically ill at one point this Summer. You would think that anyone hearing the sorts of things outlined in the interview would react with compassion and empathy.

Now Luciana is seeking election in Finchley and Golders Green for the Liberal Democrats where a recent poll put her ahead of the defending Conservative as the Labour vote collapsed.

On this weekday morning, dozens of activists have turned out to welcome party leader Jo Swinson for a visit to a local mental health charity. Almost 20 stay on for a door-knocking session with Berger. This is not normal in an area where the Lib Dems have traditionally had almost no presence. The mood is upbeat, the reception on the doorstep positive…

…She says many moderate Tories she meets are dismayed by the direction of the Conservatives under Boris Johnson. One of those campaigning for her today says he has backed the Tories for 35 years. He will not do so now, he says, because of Brexit and the “deceit” of the prime minister.

Berger says: “People are just appalled and terrified, genuinely very, very concerned about what the future holds with either Jeremy Corbyn as prime minister or, having got a whiff and a flavour of what a Boris Johnson government would look, they know that is not something they are prepared to countenance.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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One Comment

  • Peter Hirst 15th Nov '19 - 7:05pm

    When the electorate experiences our way of doing things, it likes what it sees.

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